Chesterfield table tennis ace is England hero

Liam Pitchford was the hero as England pulled off a massive upset at the Liebherr 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad, Sweden.

Pitchford, from north Derbyshire, played a key role as England’s three-man team - ranked No 12 - defeated No 2 seeds Japan 3-1 in the Group Stage.

World number 65 Pitchford, from Brimington, beat both world number 13 Tomokazu Harimoto and Rio 2016 singles bronze medallist and world number 11 Jun Mizutani 3-0 and 3-1 respectively to lead the team to victory.

After winning the epic clash against Mizutani to seal the team victory, Pitchford shared: “I’m over the moon and so happy for the team.”

Earlier England had seen off the No 6 seeds Chinese Taipei and the two victories will go a long way to help England progress to the last 16 stage of the competition which was due to start on Friday.

The two other members of the England men’s team are Paul Drinkhall and Sam Walker.